Both SpaceX and Boeing are working on their crew capsules that will take U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station. The first one to begin the tests is SpaceX, which has already placed their Crew Dragon capsule on top of the rocket on the Launchpad. SpaceX’s capsule is now in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on the Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
However, tests might be delayed, added Musk in a Tweet on 5 January:
“About a month away from the first orbital test flight of crew Dragon.”
Because of the partial government shutdown, which has also closed most of the U.S space agency, SpaceX might have to delay the launch, which is set for 17 January until the beginning of February. So far, the official schedule has not been modified.
This Year’s Second Test Flight Will Have a Crew
Meanwhile, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner should start its first uncrewed test flight in March.
If the uncrewed tests are successful, SpaceX will carry on with the next test flight. It is planned for this June, when two NASA astronauts – Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, will be on board.
CST-100 Starliner will also have a crewed test flight this year.
Photos of the Crew Dragon have been mediatized showing the capsule attached to the rocket and ready to be launched. The capsule is a crewed updated version of the 2010 SpaceX Dragon cargo ships that have been used to send cargo to the International Space Station – one of them is up there.
SpaceX has much bigger plans like working on their Starship, an enormous spaceship that should be able to carry almost 100 people in space. For now, the Starship has been booked for its first flight around the moon in the mid-2020s by the famous Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa who plans to take international artists with him in space to inspire them.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.